Ordering Food and Drink - ESL Restaurant Role-Plays, Activities and Worksheets

At the Coffee Shop

ESL Coffee Shop Role-Play - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this coffee shop role-play activity, students practice ordering food and drink in a coffee shop. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by writing a coffee shop dialogue out in the correct order. After the order has been checked, divide the students into pairs. Set the classroom up so each table acts as a coffee shop counter with one student standing on either side of the table facing their partner. The pairs then practice the conversation, exchanging roles each time they complete the dialogue. As the students become more familiar with the script, they cover the worksheet until they can memorize the dialogue. Students then use the structure of the dialogue and a coffee shop menu at the bottom of the worksheet to create their own conversation, in which they practice ordering food and drinks with one student being the barista and the other being the customer. When everyone has finished, pairs of students perform their dialogues in front of the class.
 

Can I take your order?

ESL Restaurant Game - Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 20 minutes

In this free restaurant language teaching activity, students play a card game where they practice ordering food and drink items. Give each groups of four a copy of the menu and four slips of paper. The students read the menu, and each decide on a three-course meal (starter, main course and dessert) and drink that they would like to have, without telling anyone. When the students have decided what they want, they write it on a slip of paper and keep it secret. Next, each group is given a set of food and drink cards, which they shuffle and deal out equally face down. The aim of the game is for the students to get the four food or drink items they want from the menu. In order to do this, the students order the menu items they want using restaurant language. One student goes first and orders a menu item from another group member, e.g. 'Can I have..., please?', 'I'll have...', or 'I'd like... please'. If the other student has the menu item, they give it to the student and reply as a waiter saying 'Certainly, sir/madam. Here you are'. If the student doesn't have the menu item, they say 'I'm sorry, sir/madam. I'm afraid, we've run out of...' It's then the next student's turn to ask for a menu item and so on. The first student to get the four menu item cards they want wins the game.
 

Fussy Eaters

ESL Restaurant Role-Play - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary (A1-A2) - 30 minutes

In this entertaining restaurant role-play activity, students take on the role of fussy eaters and order food and drink according to preferences on a role card. Divide the students into groups of five. Give four students a role card and one student a menu. The student with the menu plays the role of a waiter or waitress. The other students each take on the role of a fussy eater and look at the food and drink preferences on their card. After reviewing some restaurant language, the students role-play a restaurant conversation where they order food and drinks from the menu, according to the preferences on their role cards. The students repeat the role-play several times, exchanging roles each time they complete the conversation. When everyone has finished, the students role-play their conversations in front of the class.
 

At the Restaurant Role-play

ESL Restaurant Role-Play - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 60 minutes

This free restaurant role-play can be used to help students practice ordering food and drink. Give each group of three a blank restaurant menu. Students then create their own restaurant menu by thinking of a name for their restaurant and writing it at the top of the menu. Students then complete the menu with their ideas. When the students have finished, give each group a restaurant dialogue worksheet. The students use numbered prompts on the worksheet to write a restaurant dialogue between two customers and a waiter. Afterwards, students role-play ordering food and drink in a restaurant using the dialogue and the menu they have created, exchanging roles each time they finish the conversation. Finally, students present their role-plays to the class.
 

Restaurant Role-play

ESL Restaurant Role-Play - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

Here is a fun restaurant role-play to help students practice ordering food and drink. Divide the students into groups of three. One student takes on the role of a waiter and the other two students are customers. The customers come into the classroom and begin the role-play by asking their waiter for a table for two and a menu. The waiter follows instructions on a role card, takes the customers' orders and brings the meals. When the customers have finished their meal, they ask the waiter for the bill. The waiter then adds up the bill and gives the bill to the customers. At the same time, the customers work out what they think the bill should be. If any customers think the bill is wrong, they tell their waiter. At the end of the role-play, the customers give marks out of ten for the waiters.
 

Sally's Sandwiches

ESL Ordering Food and Drink Role-Play - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

In this ordering food and drink role-play activity, students order food and drink from a sandwich shop at lunchtime. Divide the students into groups of three and give each student a role card. Student A takes on the role of a person ordering food and drink for themselves and a friend at lunchtime. Also, give this student a copy of the sandwich shop menu. Student B plays the role of the friend and Student C is the sandwich shop worker. The student with the menu starts the role-play by explaining what is on the menu to their friend and taking his or her order. The student then role-plays ordering food and drink in the sandwich shop. Students repeat the role-play three times, exchanging roles each time they complete the conversation. When everyone has finished, the students role-play their conversations in front of the class.
 

What's for lunch?

ESL Ordering at a Restaurant Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

This ordering food and drink worksheet can be used to help students review restaurant language. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by matching each question on the worksheet with an appropriate response and writing it next to the question. After that, students write the questions and responses in the correct order to create a restaurant dialogue. Students then practice the dialogue with a partner and role-play it in front of the class.
 

Who said it?

ESL Restaurant Language Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

In this free restaurant language worksheet, students practice phrases for ordering food and drink. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by reading extracts from a restaurant dialogue and deciding who said each one, the waiter or the customer. Students then match each question or statement from the first exercise with an appropriate response. As an extension, pairs of students use the language from the worksheet to create a restaurant dialogue. These dialogues can then be role-played in front of the class.
 

Dining Out

ESL Restaurant Role-Play - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Low intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

In this engaging restaurant role-play activity, students practice language for dining out at a restaurant with a friend. This activity is ideal for reviewing restaurant language and ordering food and drink. Give each group of three a set of role-play cards and a copy of a menu. The role-play cards cover 20 interactions in chronological order that would happen when dining at a restaurant. The role-plays cover interactions between a customer and a waiter, and a customer and a friend. The first student begins by picking up card number one and reading out the role-play scenario, i.e. 'Invite your friend to a restaurant one evening'. The other students listen and then perform the role-play. When the students have finished their role-play, the second student picks up and reads out card number two and so on. This continues until all the cards have been used. When everyone has finished, pairs of students role-play each interaction in front of the class and feedback is given.
 

Restaurant Language Worksheet

ESL Restaurant Language Worksheet - Reading and Writing Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this restaurant language worksheet, students learn and practice vocabulary and expressions related to ordering food and drink in a restaurant. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. Students begin by completing a menu with headings. Students then match a waiter's questions with suitable customer responses. Next, students read six expressions a customer might say in a restaurant and match the phrases in bold with their synonyms. In the next exercise, students use the menu from Exercise A along with the restaurant vocabulary and language from the worksheet to write customer responses to a waiter's questions. After that, students role-play the restaurant dialogue with a partner and then present it to the class.
 
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